Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Comparison of in vivo and in silico growth performance and variability in pigs when applying a feeding strategy designed by simulation to control the variability of slaughter weight

L. Brossard A B C E , B. Vautier A B C D , J. van Milgen A B C , Y. Salaun A D and N. Quiniou A D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Unité Mixte Technologique ‘Ingénierie des Systèmes de Production Porcine’.

B INRA, UMR1348 PEGASE, 35590 Saint-Gilles, France.

C Agrocampus Ouest, UMR1348 PEGASE, 35000 Rennes, France.

D IFIP – Institut du Porc, BP 35104, 35651 Le Rheu cedex, France.

E Corresponding author. Email: ludovic.brossard@rennes.inra.fr

Animal Production Science 54(12) 1939-1945 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN14521
Submitted: 26 April 2014  Accepted: 26 July 2014   Published: 29 August 2014

Abstract

Variability in bodyweight (BW) among pigs complicates the management of feeding strategies and slaughter. Including variability among individuals in modelling approaches can help to design feeding strategies to control performance level, but also its variability. The InraPorc model was used to perform simulations on 10 batches of 84 crossbred pigs each to characterise the effect of feeding strategies differing in amino acid supply or feed allowance on the mean and variation in growth rate. Results suggested that a feed restriction reduces the coefficient of variation of BW at first departure for slaughter (BW1) by 34%. Growth performance obtained from an in silico simulation using ad libitum and restricted feeding plans was compared with results obtained in an in vivo experiment on a batch of 168 pigs. Pigs were offered feed ad libitum or were restricted (increase in feed allowance by 27 g/day up to a maximum of 2.4 and 2.7 kg/day for gilts and barrows, respectively). A two-phase feeding strategy was applied, with 0.9 and 0.7 g of digestible lysine per MJ of net energy (NE) in diets provided before or after 65 kg BW, respectively. Actual growth was similar to that obtained by simulation. Coefficient of variation of BW1 was similar in vivo and in silico for the ad libitum feeding strategy but was underestimated by 1 percentage point in silico for the restriction strategy. This study confirms the relevance of using simulations performed to predict the level and variability in performance of group housed pigs.

Additional keywords: feed allowance, feeding strategy, modelling.


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